Monday, May 18, 2009

Abe Levitow Notes on Animating























Abe Levitow was one of the main animators in Chuck Jones unit in the 1950's. He later became a co-director with Jones at Warners and a director for Jones at MGM. In addition, he directed Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol for UPA.

I can't remember when I got these notes, though I'm guessing it was the late '70's. I also have no idea who Levitow wrote them for. Was it for a project he was directing? Was it for students somewhere? In any case, while the information in the notes has been covered elsewhere, it is presented in a clear, concise manner and you can never be reminded of fundamentals often enough.

(At the time I first posted this, the site devoted to Abe Levitow had been hacked. It has now been restored and is very much worth your time. You can find it here.)

7 comments:

David Nethery said...

These notes are wonderful . Thanks for posting them , Mark.

The last paragraph resonates now more than ever given the current precarious position of hand-drawn animation:

"Even though the Disney animator Marc Davis has said: 'Animation is an anachronism; it is that rarity, a handmade product in a mechanized age', the satisfaction gained from doing it well is the kind of satisfaction that can only be gotten by creating something with your own hands that no one has ever done before. It's a sublime feeling ... you'll see !!"

David Nethery said...

And of the poltroon who hacked the Abe Levitow legacy site I say: "Of course you realize this means WAR!" ( "What a maroon, what an embezzle)

Jarrett said...

Thanks for posting these, Mark! It's very inspiring, and makes me want to put them to work. All the best.

billburgNYC said...

Can't wait to dig into these! Thanks, as usual, Mr. Mayerson!

Michael Sporn said...

We've been working most of the day to try to get www.abelevitow.com back up and running. This is the second time some idiot has hacked the site. Who knows why. It should be up and running again by Wed. May 18.

Thanks for the patience.

Years ago Judy Levitow gave me a copy of Abe's lecture notes. They're a somewhat similar to Dick Williams' Art Babbit notes. except they're tight/clean/legible. I promised her then that I wouldn't distribute them. Maybe she's more up for it now.

p spector said...

Wow, loved reading it. Great stuff! Thanks for posting it.

As per Michael's comment about the lecture notes: C'mon Judy, let's get 'em up.

Gregory Duffell said...

I'm late to the game here, but I am very grateful to read these excellent notes by Mr. Levitow. Thanks Mark, as always.